BSH Confirms: Offshore Wind Farms Benefit Marine Life
The Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH) has presented a study, according to which wind farms can benefit biodiversity. The data have been collected from the demonstration offshore wind farm Alpha Ventus.
The foundations of the wind turbines have become “artificial reefs” at which shells, starfish, sea anemones, sea lilies, and various fish settled, the Agency concluded.
Also, the risk for birds was much lower than expected. Crashes into large wind turbines occur seldom. “Movements and lighting of wind turbines seem to scare away the birds. This considerably reduces the risk of collision,” said BSH.
According to the study, the offshore wind farm has no impact whatsoever on strictly protected marine mammals such as the harbor porpoise. Specifically, the animals avoided the area during the noisy pile driving – and retreated 15 to 20 miles away from it. The Agency has now defined a binding noise limit for underwater areas to which wind farm operators must comply.
BSH is responsible for approving offshore wind farms and addressing of environmental concerns. Based on the study results, the Agency shall determine a standard (“StUK4”), which will be mandatory for the constructors of offshore wind turbines in the future.
Offshore WIND Staff, October 31, 2013; Image: alpha ventus